Friday, April 8, 2016

Wild

Let him be wild, just a while longer. Okay, maybe forever.

He runs everywhere. From room to room. From activity to activity. From slide to swing. His arms move so quickly. I'm so fast, Mama. I run like this...soooooo fast.

But we want to slow him down. We want to tell him not to run. To move in line with everyone else. We need to tell him to be careful. Gentle. Calm.

I get it. He needs to function in society. I tell my 8th graders the same thing. But isn't there a beauty in the wild.

We're going to box him in. We're going to tell him to sit still. Focus. Do your work.

And now, BE CREATIVE.

Wait? What?

Change everything you are. Learn the way we do things. Sit the way we tell you to. Learn the way we tell you to.

Now, why aren't kids more creative? Why can't they think for themselves?

He solves all of his problems. He breaks down his towers and starts them again. He explores under every rock, looking for a bug he hasn't seen before. He draws pictures of his family rocketing into space.

He is creative now. What will happen in a year? In two? When school puts him in his place and doesn't let him out until he's what they want him to be?

Look, I'm a teacher. I get it. Rules matter.  Kids need guidance. Part of a teacher's job (a BIG part) is to help grow functional members of society.

But I watch him as he gallops across the park, completely free. I watch him wildly wobble on his bike, laughing.  And it makes me sad.  That's going to come to a crashing close when he's asked to be still for really long periods.

Even now, his creativity is sometimes branded as "inappropriate."

"What are the school rules?" They ask.

"Don't throw roller coaster parts," he answers.

Inappropriate. And his school evaluation reflects that. Personally, I like his answer. I can see him getting in trouble or watching someone get in trouble for throwing the Lincoln Logs or train set they were pretending to build into a roller coaster. But, it wasn't the expected answer; so, it was inappropriate.

I love my son's school. I'm looking forward watching him blossom as a kindergartner in his next environment in a year and a half.

Something puts a damper on that excitement, thoughI worry that school will put his fire out, will kill his creativity. And then we will struggle to light that fire again when report cards demand it.

I love watching my son work. He'll focus, tongue out, and draw the picture in his mind. I love watching him so much that my smile annoys him. I remind him that I grew him in my body; so, I get to smile at him as much as I want. 

So, what can I do? As his mama? As one of the people he loves and trusts most in the world?

I can give him freedom at home. He can play with the toys he chooses. He can pick the colors he wants to paint with, even if they make no sense to me.  He can tell me stories that weave and wobble and circle back around and often involve dinosaurs.

He can live and breathe wild.

No comments:

Post a Comment